UPAEP has a lot of international students who attend each semester. However, Notre Dame being Notre Dame, we had an extra week of “pre-orientation”. We shared this with some German and Austrian students and one French one. In addition to the regular pre-orientation program, we Notre Dame pre-medicine students were required to take Spanish for Health Care Professions (aka the medical Spanish class I spoke of before) and several different lectures.
On Wednesday, we took a trip down Avenida Juarez to Talavera Uriarte, a talavera factory. What is talavera, you ask? It is very similar to porcelain. The tour was very intriguing and we took lots of pictures.
After walking around in the gorgeous, yet hot, sun we had a lecture on the history of medicine in Mexico to go to. Unfortunately, not even the call of “En chufa!” could keep us awake once the lecturer started talking incessantly about dates. Understand that the lecture was in Spanish, we were tired from walking two miles and the lights were off. I remember the first fifteen minutes but that’s about it. We all woke up to finish the day with a welcome mass for our host mothers and our entire ND crew.
Thursday was much the same with medical Spanish starting at 9am and going for several hours. We began to learn a fancy spin in our Latin dance class. I finally managed to do it correctly at the very end of the lesson. Kudos go to my two dancing partners who helped make that possible. After dance we had two lectures in an attempt to alleviate our load for the next day. Our teacher who flew in from Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana was very accommodating.
At the UPAEP hospital we learned “How to become a Doctor in Mexico” and returned to the classroom to learn the “History of Medicine in the US” followed by a sneak lecture on “Epidemiology in the US” that was originally scheduled for Friday. Our class discussion following the epidemiology lecture was extremely interesting and at times, volatile. Even though we did not arrive at home until long after 7pm, it was a very worthwhile day.
Friday was pretty chill with several hours of medical spanish class. We played a big game of jeopardy to review for the Saturday exam. Team “En chufa!” were victorious in final jeopardy with the simple answer even after a -400pts start. There was much rejoicing. (Yay).
We’re keeping busy and flying (er…starting and stopping while holding on for our lives) on the busses. I am loving being here! Even Monteczuma’s Revenge tried and failed to defeat me!